Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST Friday, November 10, 2006: Neat
how oil went down virtually every day for 3 months before the election and has
been up every day since. By the middle of the upcoming winter, well be
back to $80 a barrel. Buy futures.
Stock of the day: The New York Stock Exchange -- also called NYSE
Group, Inc, symbol NYX. I should have picked this earlier. It's had a
But I believe
it will rise further for the following reasons:
1. Its earnings are booming and it's doing everything to make them boom more,
including firing people and automating more.
2. No one is selling.
3. Cramer is pushing it.
4. Look what the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did.
Stock of the Day: Absolute Software (ABT.TO)
is doing well and should go higher. Fortune Magazine just did a piece
For the full article,
LoJack for laptops
Canadian technology company Absolute Software is taking off, thanks to its
recovery software for PCs.
NEW YORK (Fortune)
-- When Starbucks announced late last week that two laptops - each containing
personal data on thousands of employees - had gone missing from its Seattle
headquarters, the latte purveyor joined a growing list of well-known organizations
that have suffered an embarrassing, and potentially costly, computer security
is not alone; In May, a Department of Veterans Affairs data analyst's laptop
containing confidential info on 26.5 million veterans, military personnel
and their spouses was swiped. Two months earlier, a laptop chock full of data
on Fidelity Investments' clients was reported stolen. Ford, AIG and Ameriprise
Financial have also suffered similar fates.
With laptops now capable of storing massive amounts of data, it's no surprise
that they're increasingly targeted. Over half a million laptops are
stolen each year, and very few are ever recovered, according to the FBI. In
fact, 47 percent of computer security professionals surveyed recently by the
Computer Security Institute and the FBI reported a laptop theft over the past
To ward off
the threat, companies large and small are beefing up spending on a host of
security systems. A survey of corporate CIOs from analysts at Gartner found
that information security budgets are expected to grow 4.5 percent in 2006,
and will continue to grow "aggressively" through 2008. And 52 percent
of respondents to a 2005 survey from market researchers In-Stat plan to purchase
"security appliances" to replace out-of-date equipment, up from
22 percent in 2004.
One security tool that's becoming as ubiquitous as bike locks on city streets
is Computrace laptop recovery and tracking software, made by a company out
of Vancouver called Absolute Software. Founded 12 years ago, Computrace today
protects over 800,000 computers and has helped everyone from San Francisco
high school students to global accounting firms to Canadian oilfield equipment
suppliers retrieve stolen or waylaid PCs.
Here's how Computrace
works: If a PC is stolen, clients dial an 800 number or report the theft to
Absolute via the Internet. When the stolen computer connects to the Internet,
the Computrace software provides its location to Absolute's 12-person recovery
team, which then works with local law enforcement to recover the PC. Clients
can also, if they choose, remotely delete data post-theft.
taken off over the past two years thanks to deals it has cut with top PC makers
like Dell, HP, Fujitsu, Lenovo and Gateway to embed Computrace in the so-called
BIOS on millions of computers. The BIOS (short for Basic Input/Output System)
contains essential software code that allows computer components, like the
keyboard and mouse, to function when first turned on, before the Windows operating
system kicks in.
into the laptop makes Computrace almost impossible to remove, even if the
hard drive gets wiped clean. (Previously, Absolute's software was offered
as an add-on feature, requiring manual installation.)
The lion's share
of Absolute's sales come via its PC partners, who pre-install Computrace and
offer it to their corporate and educational sector clients. For example, Dell
customer Quinnipiac University, just north of New Haven, Conn., has Computrace
installed on all the Dell Latitude laptops that incoming freshmen are required
to provide better asset management and theft deterrence," says Fred Tarca,
the school's director of administration and operations. Tarca's office also
uses Computrace to keep tabs on the 700 or so laptops utilized by faculty.
When a handful
of faculty laptops were stolen from a locked room at Quinnipiac last year,
Absolute's recovery team -- headed by a former member of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police -- identified the exact location of the machines and worked
with local and campus police to retrieve them.
stolen laptop can bust open a wider criminal ring, as was the case in North
Carolina not too long ago, when a stolen Dell laptop was found, allegedly,
alongside large amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
Drug busts make
for great headlines, but much of Computrace's value comes from simply letting
people like Tarca know where all his laptops are at any given time, and if
they've recently caught a nasty virus or some spyware, for instance. (He only
does this for university-owned machines, not the laptops bought by students.)
battles so-called laptop "drift," which occurs when a laptop is
lost but not reported stolen. For example, one of Quinnipiac's laptops mysteriously
ended up in Israel.
A full 77 percent of Absolute's sales come from corporate and educational
clients like accounting firm Grant Thornton, network equipment maker 3Com
and Quinnipiac, but Computrace is also making inroads with consumers, who
can purchase a three-year service contract for $99 at stores like CompUSA,
Fry's Electronics and Office Depot.
In a savvy marketing
move, the company has even licensed the LoJack (Charts) brand name to enhance
its mainstream appeal, and Wal-Mart recently offered a two-year subscription
to "LoJack for Laptops" with the purchase of select Gateway eMachine
notebooks. Sales to government agencies are meager right now, but NASA is
a longtime client and the company is due to announce more deals in that arena
revenues are climbing, up 54 percent in its most recent quarter, the
company is still not profitable and has pushed back its timetable for getting
out of the red. But that doesn't worry analysts like Spencer Churchill at
Clarus Securities, who rates the stock, traded on the Toronto exchange, as
a buy: "We would rather Absolute continue to aggressively grow the business
and embed itself in the food chain as a standard part of PC security,"
he says. "Absolute is firing on all cylinders and is the clear leader
in this niche of the PC market."
niche stands at about $1 billion today and is growing at between 25 and 30
percent annually, says Churchill, who adds that, if you include desktop computers
-- Gateway now embeds Computrace in its desktops -- as well as PDAs and smart
phones, the potential market expands even more significantly.
stock of the day will be Ziopharm Oncology (ZIOP).
I visited with them yesterday and was impressed. They've just licensed a third
drug. They're holding an Analyst Meeting next Friday. More on Monday.
what we could do with the money... The U.S. armed services have requested
a staggering $160 billion supplemental appropriation to fund the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan in the remainder of fiscal year 2007. The request far
exceeds the $94 billion supplemental authorized earlier this year to
fund the ongoing wars as well as hurricane recovery in the Gulf and is nearly
double the $82 billion Iraq war supplemental outlay of 2005.
If the money gets
approved, small defense contractors, such as DRS Technologies, Essex and Armor
Holdings will benefit.
your young daughter on Gardasil
Gardasil can save your daughter's live.
Gardasil protects vaccine against four types of human papillomavirus,
which account for the vast majority of the 500,000 cervical-cancer cases and
the 32 million new cases of genital warts around the world each year. Available
for girls ages 9+, the three-shot regimen is best taken before sexual
activity starts. Gardasil is a miracle vaccine. It will absolutely save lives.
You need to do this.
Motorcycle for sale:
Suzuki GSXR 1000. This bike is perfect! It has 1000 miles and has had its
500 mile dealer service. (Expensive) It's been adult ridden, all wheels have
always been on the ground. I use it as a cruiser/commuter. I'm selling it
because it was purchased without proper consent of a loving wife. Apparently
"do whatever the f*** you want" doesn't mean what I thought. Call
me, Steve. (801) 867-8292.
I called Steve
last night. The bike has been sold. He's still married.
things in life are, fortunately, still free:
wonderful memorial stone.
A woman's husband died. He had left $30,000 to be used for an elaborate funeral.
After everything was done at the funeral home and cemetery, she explained to
her closest friend that "there is absolutely nothing left of the $30,000."
The friend asked,
"How can that be?"
The widow responded,
"Well, the funeral cost was $6,500. And, of course, I made a donation to
the church. That was $500. I spent another $500 for the wake, food and drinks
-- you know. The rest went for the memorial stone."
The friend said,
"$22,500 for the memorial stone? My goodness! How big is it?"
The grieving widow
replied, "Four and a half carats."
This column is about my personal search
for the perfect investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have
to be registered with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter
and an investor. I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available
for three reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second,
the column is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the
Perfect Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas,
concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address
is . You can't
click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software
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